A new species of hairy grasshopper was identified by a group of paleontologists from McGill and Gdańsk Universities after analysis of the fossil impressed on or on a rock in the la of the animal.
The new insect, called Maculaferrum blaisi, was described in a study published in Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.
The first term of the name derives from the Latin words “macula” and “iron”, to indicate the large iron content in the rocks on which the fossil was impressed.
The second term, instead, is in honour of Roger A. Blais, the first paleontologist who conducted an investigation in the Redmond Formation.
The fossil was found in the Redmond Formation, a site near Schefferville, Canada. Although the fossil only showed one wing, the researchers were able to identify the family to which the animal belonged, the Tettigarctidae.
They succeeded by microscopically analyzing the intricate network of veins, as explained by Alexandre Demers-Potvin, a research student who worked under the supervision of Professor Hans Larsson.
They used a method called Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), an emerging method for impression fossils.
According to the researchers, the insect lived during the Cenomanian (late Cretaceous), between 100 and 94 million years ago.